Canadian Oil History 2/10

Updated: Oct 28

1908 - Bow Island, Alberta


Spudded in 1908, Old Glory was the name of the discovery well which located the Bow Island gas field, the first major discovery in Alberta's earliest important commercial oil and gas exploration venture. Developing the field led to the first pipelines delivering natural gas to Alberta communities. Construction of a 16-inch pipeline from southwest of Medicine Hat to Calgary began on April 22, 1912 and was completed in only 86 days. A second leg reached Lethbridge on July 12, 1912.



The Bow Island pin depicts the celebration in Calgary on July 17, 1912, when 12,000 Calgarians gathered to watch Mrs. Eugene Coste - wife of the man who drilled Old Glory and founded Canadian Western Natural Gas - light the inaugural flare with a roman candle.

Old Glory" Gas Well, Bow Island, 1909; the largest gas well in Canada at that time, "Old Glory" was the first major discovery of natural gas in Alberta. Reputedly, Coste discovered that the rig had been constructed on the wrong site before drilling began, but the head driller, Frosty Martin, convinced him to proceed anyway. Later, when drilling was well underway, Martin disagreed again with his boss who had given instructions to cease work at the well as it seemed unproductive. Several days after Coste’s directive had been given and ignored,

"Old Glory" blew in.


Sources: Petroleum History Society, Glenbow Archives, NA-2159

Write up Credit:

Petroleum History Society Website

http://www.petroleumhistory.ca/history/wells.html


photo credit: Wikipedia


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